Hello from the high mountains of Colorado.
After what can’t be called a hiatus - because it was too long - I am back writing for the RMFW blog. Looking forward to it. When Patricia Stoltey asked me to write, I asked her if there was a topic she’d like me to explore. She replied that she’d like more posts on writing romance. Her wish is my command.
When I was a kid, I really didn’t love to read. I was captivated by television - maybe even addicted. That was back in the day before recorders (yes, campers, we did have color TV in those days) and I knew exactly what days and times my heroes would show up on the screen. Woe be unto anyone who interrupted. And, if my mom planned something different for me - EGADS!!! I’d have to wait and catch that episode on reruns.
Looking back, I realize that this obsessive TV watching was feeding the romance writer in me. Feeding my fascination with heroes.
Then, when I was in my late teens, I was introduced to romance - historical romance to be exact.
Kathleen Woodiwiss and Rosemary Rogers.
The Flame and the Flower, The Wolf and the Dove, Sweet Savage Love and Dark Fires.
I carried stories in my heart for years, wondering if I could actually write a novel, before finally making the leap. Whether you write romance, or sci-fi, or fantasy, or whatever you write - you know that feeling of taking a deep breath and beginning that first story.
Though some of my tastes in romance have changed, I still love going on the journey. Romance is a journey whose destination is pre-determined. To be classified as a romance there must be a happy ending. The hero and heroine must be together in some sort of committed relationship at the end of the book.
Romance readers demand it.
As an aside - this is why some of us rail at the categorization of Nicolas Sparks as a “romance” writer. Hello. No, Message in a Bottle is NOT a romance novel. It’s a love story. But - spoiler alert - a book in which the hero dies halfway through - not a romance.
Sorry for the digression.
And how committed are the readers of romance? Pretty darn committed.
Romance is the number one selling genre.
According to Romance Writers of America, 84% of romance book buyers are women. (That’s surprising to me. Yet, I do have male readers of my military romance.) 64% of those readers read romance more than once a month, 35% buy romance more than once a month. And by and large, those readers have been reading romance for 10-20 years.
The top rated sub-genres in romance are:
Print: romantic suspense (53%); contemporary romance (41%); historical romance (34%); erotic romance (33%); New Adult (26%); paranormal romance (19%); Young Adult romance (18%); and Christian romance (17%).
E-book: romantic suspense (48%); contemporary romance (44%); erotic romance (42%); historical romance (33%); paranormal romance (30%); New Adult (26%); Young Adult romance (18%); and Christian romance (14%).
The reason I mentioned these statistics is to show that writing romance is not a whim. It very well might be a great business decision if you love the genre. Also I wanted to point out the wide variety of stories you can tell within the category.
Why do I write romance?
Because I believe in love. Love that overcomes obstacles. Love that, after all is said and done, wins the day. Love that binds two imperfect people together to face the world together.
I’ll be back next month and we’ll get into some of the requirements of the genre.
Until then, campers, BIC-HOK - Butt in Chair, Hands on Keyboard.